Chief Aja Agha, the acting chairman of the Ebonyi chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has promised to galvanise the party to victory in the 2023 general elections.
Agha stated this at a news briefing on Friday in Abakaliki adding that he had started working to unite all the aggrieved members of the party in the state.
Agha alleged that he took over from Ricky Okoroukah in an acting capacity in Ebonyi following a Supreme Court judgement of 2021 that sacked Chief Victor Oye as the national chairman of APGA.
Our correspondent reports that APGA conducted parallel national conventions in 2019 which were held in Awka and Owerri respectively.
The Awka convention produced Oye as a factional national chairman while the Owerri convention brought Njoku as another national chairman.
A legal battle ensued between the factional chairmen as both men laid claim to the position of authentic chairman of the party.
However, the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision by the five Justices affirmed the Owerri convention and accordingly recognised Njoku as the authentic national chairman of the APGA.
Agha said that following the development, the National Working Committee (NWC) led by Njoku dissolved the State Executive Committees of the party and appointed interim caretakers that would oversee the affairs of the party.
He said: “It is on the strength of the dissolution of the party’s State Executive Committees of the party including the Ebonyi chapter that I have been appointed to take charge of the affairs of our great party in Ebonyi.
” I have started consulting with leaders and chieftains of our great party in the state and my assurances is that I’m going to mobilise and galvanise the various stakeholders, party chieftains and our teeming supporters to ensure that APGA emerges victorious in 2023.
“APGA is one body and nobody will like to be left outside the moving train; the train is already moving and in all my consultations with the chieftains of the party, they have asked me to go ahead that they are behind me.”
Agha who spoke on the fate of the Governorship, National and state Houses of Assembly candidates of the party who emerged during the party’s primary elections held in May opined that they have ceased to be candidates of the party according to the judgement.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is a body established by the Constitution of Nigeria and is subject to the laws of the land.
” Our emergence is through the Supreme Court judgement and INEC cannot work against the law.
“INEC has no option but to accept our candidates because the judgement on the leadership of APGA is clear and without any ambiguity; every action taken by the ‘illegal’ leadership of Victor Oye has been rendered a nullity and of no effect.
“Hence, all the persons purported to have emerged as APGA candidates through the primary elections will not be recognised by the Njoku-led administration
“By the judgement, and events happening in Ebonyi, Prof. Benard Odoh is not the governorship candidate; the court will give order to INEC to recognise and shortlist all the nominees we are going to submit,” he added.
Meanwhile, attempts to speak with Okoroukah on the development were not successful.
However, when contacted, Odoh, APGA’s gubernatorial candidate in a reaction dismissed the claim adding that the Supreme Court has since disowned the judgement.
“The judgement never existed and the Supreme Court has since disowned and distanced itself from the said purported judgement,” Odoh said.